Annual croton: One-seed croton

Croton monanthogynus Michx.

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family)


Of the 20 croton species occurring in Texas, nine are annuals. Annual crotons range in size from small to large and have star-shaped hairs or shield-shaped scales on at least some plant parts.

One-seed croton is a native, warm-season annual that is also commonly named prairie-tea. It can reach several inches to 18 inches tall, depending on moisture conditions.

The plant has a taproot, many wide branches, and stems that are usually a peachy-pink-orange color. Although most members of this plant family have a three-seeded capsule or fruit, the one-seed croton has a capsule with only one seed.

One-seed croton produces many seeds for seed-eating birds but is seldom grazed by livestock.


These annual plants usually grow most abundantly where there is soil disturbance, lack of soil cover or overgrazing. One-seed croton occurs in abundance on calcareous soils.